she can’t crawl yet
but my sassy little daughter
bum-shuffles her way
toward the broadsheet
smirking back at me / in defiance

the paper is open
to a young somali woman
trying to finger-feed rice
to her wasting child

maya stares at them

then / trying to catch
the dying baby’s gaze
she lifts chubby brown fingers
to cherubic mouth
& smiles

the young mother
half-turns from the camera
lowers suffering brown eyes


drought ravaged

& but by the grace of god

go i

On Sunday 14 August, I’ll be performing some poems and a Q&A about my writing at the CaribVic Youth Arts Festival in Melbourne which runs from 3pm to 7pm. Other featured artists include artist Tony Phillips, filmmaker Jason Phillips and musician Lloyd Watson-Jones – really looking forward to this one! You can find out more details about this event, how to book, and about the Caribbean Association of Victoria at the CaribVic blog.


Maxine Beneba Clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian author and slam poet of Afro- Caribbean descent. Her short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the 2015 ABIA Award for Best Literary Fiction and the 2015 Indie Award for Best Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. Her memoir, The Hate Race, her poetry collection Carrying the World, and her first children’s book, The Patchwork Bike, will be published by Hachette in late 2016.

More by Maxine Beneba Clarke ›

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